Tennis-Fans return to Flushing Meadows as U.S. Open gets underway

  • Tennis
  • Monday, 30 Aug 2021

FILE PHOTO: Sep 13, 2020; Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; General view of Arthur Ashe Stadium at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Open welcomed fans back for the first time since 2019 as Day One of the crown jewel of American tennis started in warm and sunny weather at Flushing Meadows on Monday.

Japan's Naomi Osaka begins her title defence to kick off the evening session on Arthur Ashe Stadium, while Russian Daniil Medvedev, the runner-up in 2019, takes on France's Richard Gasquet.

In early action, former champion Sloane Stephens faces fellow American Madison Keys and Britain's three-times Grand Slam winner Andy Murray plays world number three Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece who is bidding for his maiden major title.

The year's final Grand Slam has been stripped of some of the sport's marquee names, with Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Serena Williams injured, but still promises to be a major draw after playing to empty stands a year ago, as Novak Djokovic bids to complete the calendar-year slam.

The Serb needs a New York triumph to become the third man, and first since Rod Laver in 1969, to accomplish the feat.

Fans were required to bring proof of their COVID-19 vaccination in order to enter the facility, after a change in policy was announced on Friday

Thunderstorms are forecast for later in the day.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York, editing by Ed Osmond)

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